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Thanksgiving is a time to gather around a scrumptious table with family and friends.  To be impressive as a host or a guest, here are a few host and guest etiquette tips to keep in mind, in addition to using your best table manners and dining etiquette:

As A Host Or Hostess:

  • Have a short to-do list for guests who ask, after they arrive, “What can I do to help?” Suggestions: warm the rolls, fill the ice bucket, light the candles or hand them a whisk to stir the gravy. It adds to the fun when guests are involved in the kitchen helping with last-minute preparations.
  • If your group is large, consider using place cards for seating guests. This helps ensure that congenial and friendly conversations can be enjoyed by all.
  • If guests are bringing potluck dishes, have a tray of extra serving utensils ready for dishes that need one.
  • If food items are served buffet style, use blank place cards to indicate the name of the dish and any food allergens, such as “Green Bean Casserole, contains dairy.”
  • To encourage mingling before the meal, and if space allows, set up a separate self-serve beverage area with a variety of beverages. Pre-set only water glasses on the table and guests can bring their additional beverage to the table.

Guest Etiquette Tips:

  • Arrive on time, but not early. The hostess will have plenty of details to attend to without the distraction of early arrivals.
  • If you’re contributing a dish that needs to stay warm, consider using a crock pot rather than needing oven space when you arrive with your food.
  • Consider taking a small hostess gift in addition to your food items. Flowers (already in a vase) or bottle of wine are nice, but a plate of muffins or bagels for breakfast the next morning will be a hit and appreciated.
  • If you (or your children) have specific food allergies, take a few food items that you know are safe.
  • If place cards are used for seating, do not rearrange them to sit by someone else. The hostess has put considerable thought into seating arrangements to help encourage pleasant conversations.
  • Do keep conversations upbeat. Good topics include movies, sports, the lighter side of current events, and recent or upcoming travel plans. Avoid topics that are controversial or raise blood pressures.
  • Do offer to help clean up the kitchen. The hostess will appreciate the gesture even if she declines.

Interested In Learning More?

You may also like to read “13 Potluck Etiquette Rules for Hosts and Guests”  and “Luggage Etiquette” if you’re planning to board a plane for the Thanksgiving holidays. If you are interested in any of my business or etiquette seminars please contact me or call me at 918.970.4400!